A preliminary investigation of the predictors of tanning dependence

Am J Health Behav. Sep-Oct 2008;32(5):451-64. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2008.32.5.451.


Objectives: To investigate possible predictors of tanning dependence including demographic variables, exposure and protective behaviors, and other health-related behaviors.

Methods: This study consisted of an online survey of 400 students and other volunteers from a university community.

Results: Twenty-seven percent of the sample was classified as tanning dependent. Tanning dependence was predicted by ethnicity and skin type, indoor and outdoor tanning and burning, and lower skin protective behaviors, as well as smoking and body mass index.

Conclusions: Young adults are at risk for tanning dependence, which can be predicted by specific demographic and behavioral variables.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / epidemiology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / etiology
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk-Taking
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Pigmentation / radiation effects
  • Smoking
  • Southeastern United States / epidemiology
  • Students / psychology
  • Sunbathing / psychology*
  • Sunburn / epidemiology
  • Sunburn / etiology
  • Sunburn / prevention & control
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects
  • Universities
  • Young Adult